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Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Rednecks and Sophistication

Lately, to cure my previous ignorance, I learned what Redneck really means.

Definitions range from:

"...refers to a stereotype of usually rural, Caucasian (i.e. white) people of lower socio-economic status in the United States and Canada...


"...A redneck is usually typified in popular culture by a straight male with a beer belly that consumes cheap American beer such as Busch or Miller by the case (Pabst Blue Ribbon in more traditional settings) as well as Jack Daniel's. They are generally distrustful or dislike anyone not like them or the government. The stereotypical redneck lives in a trailer, and drives an old, large, beat-up pickup truck with a gun rack in the rear window. He generally wears a stained, sleeveless t-shirt, blue jeans, and a trucker hat..."


The Jeff Foxworthy Definition: ""a glorious lack of sophistication,"

The last one hit me.

Rednecks are usually thought of as without intelligence, lazy, indifferent to life outside and stuck to their own rural world. It reminds me of Philippine squatters and promdis. In making the connection, I philosophized that even the Filipinos can lack sophistication.

And it makes me realize how sophistication is necessary in life.

Sophistication for me means having higher intellect and understanding, and having a better refinement of culture. Sophistication though has a negative connotation for some. Some dictionaries in fact define it as worldliness or impurity. The word in fact denotes complexity, as opposed to simple-mindedness. I however see sophistication as something positive.

Some people, like the rednecks themselves and those who are lazy in life are usually the ones who say that you don't need sophistication in life. You just need to be simple, enjoy the simple things (like wine and women mostly) and don't get so hifallutin' high-minded. Realistically, life isn't as simple as that. Life is very complex and trying to simplify things often creates shrouds over certain truths. People without sophistication are trapping themselves in to the little worlds they create and limit their understanding.

And in trying to be simple, they ignore simple facts. Just saying that the government is corrupt and should shape up is simple to say. But the real mechanics behind that is more complex. A nation is built up by the actions of all the citizens, and not just the government. The kind of people complaining about corruption are making up excuses for laziness

This is just an example of how lack of sophistication can be harmful. So many jobs today for example require complex knowledge in skills and computers. Some unsophisticated people would say, "we don't need computers" and if they can't work on something simple like farms and fishery, they will turn to gambling or will just plain refuse to work. Their lack of sophistication is causing their irresponsibility.

Of course, this is not to say that all sophisticated people are good, since the nastiest people who have ever lived, like Ferdinand Marcos, were sophisticated and thought of complex schemes to rule corruptly and steal from people. But that is not even true sophistication for me, since a sophisticated mind that's truly intelligent would realize that to steal is a ridiculous blunder.

And yet sophistication is necessary. It affirms one's intelligence and intellectuality. It is the trait of a refined culture and an educated mind. Sophisticate yourself in the right way.

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